Playful, elegant, and not above the judicious use of the word “shit."

Basketball Diaries

Earlier this evening my five-year-old nephew beat me at a game of basketball. He beat me and I wasn’t even trying to let him win. The kid doesn’t even know how to tie a pair of shoes and he wiped the driveway with my ass.

I’m trying not to take this personally because I’ve never claimed to be very good at basketball, so why should it matter, right? There are a number of other things I can do better than my nephew, like reading books without pictures or driving a car. I’m a much better driver than he is.

But people have always assumed that I play basketball because I’m taller than the average redwood tree, and my life has been nothing but a shameful waste of these tall limbs. The money I could have made for this family! Had I known THE FIRST THING about running and dribbling a ball at the same time, HOW DO THEY DO THAT? And shooting a basketball, at a hoop, in the air, over there, that little thing? I am super good at hitting the very large backboard, SMACK DAB ON. And I can throw the basketball OVER the backboard, doesn’t that count for something?

I have never been particularly good at sports, especially basketball, although I can stand in the middle of a volleyball net, raise both my arms and block an opponent’s spike like a solid brick wall. But that doesn’t require any athletic ability, just some extraordinary height which my people have in spades. Don’t come at me with a volleyball because all I have to do is STAND THERE and my team will win.

Now that I’ve married and procreated with someone whose limbs make mine look like nubby stubs, I’m afraid that the race of creatures springing forth from my loins is going to be an army of monsters doomed to a life of searching endlessly and unsuccessfully for a pair of pants that fit, a life of being asked, over and over again, “You play basketball, right?” My children will spend the rest of their lives reaching up to get things off shelves that their smaller, fitted-pants wearing friends can’t reach.

Already my four-month-old monster is busting out of six-to-nine-month sized clothing, and her feet are so big that they show up on local doppler radar, her hands so enormous that she could palm a watermelon. Height can be very advantageous, particularly in crowds or when trying to purchase alcoholic beverages while underage and am I ever thrilled about the prospect of ticking off that milestone.

But she won’t be good at basketball, not if the Hamilton genes have any say in her coordination, and she’s doomed to spend most of her teenage years explaining, “No, actually, I don’t play basketball, but you should see the databases I administrate!”

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